Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
Two months into 2023 and my parents and I have finished seeing Series 12 of ‘Call the Midwife’. We saw the first seven episodes on BBC iPlayer, due to missing a week on the first episode when it began on New Year’s Day. We saw the eighth and last episode on BBC TV on its transmission date. 🙂
I know I made criticisms about the longevity of ‘Call the Midwife’ as a drama TV series in my review on the 2022 Christmas Special, and I appreciate there are those who rate this series highly. However, I feel Series 12 is a mixed bag of a season, as there were disappointments in watching this.
The biggest disappointment for me is the departure of Leonie Elliot as Lucille. She’s only in the first two episodes of Series 12, as her character left due to a mental breakdown. She doesn’t even come back in the final episode of Series 12 to see Helen George as Trixie and Olly Rix as Matthew married.
At the time of this review, Leonie Elliot has announced her departure from the TV series, meaning she’s not coming back in future seasons any time soon. This is something I really hate when it comes to discussing ‘Call the Midwife’, as some of the characters in the series don’t have proper farewells.
Yes, you could argue that Lucille had a farewell in the second episode of Series 12, but I was hoping she would make a comeback in the final episode before she actually left for good. Even Patsy, played by Emerald Fennell, left in two episodes of Series 6 and returned for the final episode of the season.
At least characters like Sister Frances got a sort-of farewell in the 2022 Christmas Special, but characters like Sister Hilda and Valerie don’t get on-screen departures. They’re just written out without a proper goodbye. And characters like Cynthia were written out on some downward trends.
I don’t know what’s going to happen should Zephryn Taitte as Cyril, Lucile’s husband, remain in the next ‘Call the Midwife’ season? What will Lucille do whilst away from Cyril and whilst he’s working in Poplar? I hope it won’t be anything that goes against a character we’ve grown to love over the years.
The future of Nonnatus House is also in question, especially as it’s implied Megan Cusack as Nancy might be leaving the series. So far, the mainstays of ‘Call the Midwife’ have been Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan, Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner, Laura Main as Shelagh and Cliff Parisi as Fred Buckle. Mind you, Sister Monica Joan could soon be on her way out. 😦
Anyway, enough negatives. Were there things I liked about Series 12 of ‘Call the Midwife’? Well, yes, there were. I’m very pleased Trixie married Matthew at the end of Series 12. I hoped for Trixie to find happiness in the series, and I’m glad she finally got married instead of falling out with Matthew.
Incidentally, we’re introduced to a new regular character in the series – Rebecca Gethings as Sister Veronica, who happens to be a health expert. I can’t say I’m enamoured with Sister Veronica as a character in the series. 😦 I preferred it when Sister Hilda and Sister Frances were in Nonnatus House.
I enjoyed the episode where Sister Monica Joan became attached to a cute dog and named him Nothing. I know that sounds unflattering, but Sister Monica wanted to keep her friend a secret from everyone in Nonnatus House. And Hector called one of his dogs Useless in ‘Monarch of the Glen’. 😀
There were guest star faces I recognised whilst watching Series 12 of ‘Call the Midwife’. Robert Whitelock, who has done Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’, was in the first episode of Series 12. Barry McCarthy, who’s also done some Big Finish audios, guest starred in Series 12’s second episode.
Michael Cochrane, who’s been in ‘Doctor Who’ stories like ‘Black Orchid’, appeared in the fifth episode, playing Matthew’s father before he had a tragic end. 😦 And Daniel Hill, who was in the original ‘Shada’, played the vicar who officiated Trixie and Matthew’s wedding in the eighth episode.
A thing I’ve noticed about ‘Call the Midwife’ seasons lately is that they tend to do episodes that focus on depressing topics. I know that’s something to reflect real life, but after a while it gets repetitive and hard to watch, especially when you’re perhaps sensitive to particular health issues being raised.
Overall, Series 12 of ‘Call the Midwife’ hasn’t been an entirely satisfying season for me. There were good moments to take away from the season, especially with Trixie and Matthew getting married, but I’m unhappy about Lucille leaving the series, as Leonie Elliot confirmed that she has left for good.
I know I shouldn’t be too harsh on a period drama TV series that’s meant to reflect on real-life topics about midwifery, health and such, but it makes me question how the longevity of the series can keep going. This is especially since ‘Call the Midwife’ has recently been green-lit for two more seasons.
Who knows? Maybe this is a time to reflect on these things before the series returns in what I’m sure will be a 2023 Christmas Special and Series 13 in 2024. We’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully when I do in-depth Series 12 reviews, I’ll be clearer about my thoughts and feelings on the episodes.
See you next time for the next ‘Call the Midwife’ review. 😀
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!